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Old 05-05-2010, 09:40 PM   #1
ReverseApacheMaster
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Default Fermentation question

I am fermenting a small amount of cider (as a test run) with beer yeast. (I used 1338, if it matters.)

I read on here that apple juice will ferment dry and then you can backsweeten it with lactose. However, if I do not backsweeten, how will this taste? Will it be dry like some commercial ciders, or will it be completely undrinkable?

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Old 05-05-2010, 10:00 PM   #2
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I found it was like a dry wine it was pretty good because I don't like wine so that should say something about the taste
when you say a small amount are you talking like a 1 gal batch
that is what I made once it was done fermenting I racked it to a second 1 gal carboy and added potassium sorbate and let it clear
once it cleared I transferred it to a bottling bucket and poured in a 1.2L can or apple juice to back sweeten it.
I bottled it in 1L plastic bottles
I force carbed it and it was great
I went plastic because I was a little worried about bottle bombs if the sorbate didn't do it's job.
not that it mattered the wife loved it so all the bottles were done in 3 days
I hope that helps the only thing I found is the apple juice alone had a potential for 5 %
the batch I have on now has added sugar so the potential is 10% or 11%
my first batch was 5% but then I added the can of apple juice so it was probably around 3.5% which is ok I guess but I live in Canada and if we wanted water we'll ask for it

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Old 05-06-2010, 02:26 PM   #3
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It won't taste like commercial ciders, specially if you are comparing yours to American 6-pack ciders. They are far from dry. The longer you let it age, the more the acids remaining after your cider goes dry has a chance to mellow out and become more balanced. If you rush it, it will have a tart bite to it which may or may not be pleasant to you.

Actually, most apple juices that are not concentrate or made from concentrate, but actual apple juice, fall around 6-7%. If you add sugar, you are increasing the potential alcohol. If you do that, then all you can taste is alcohol, especially when young. It is rocket fuel to some people, and they don't understand why people bother with these recipes. If that happens, let it age, and it will get better.

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Old 05-06-2010, 04:14 PM   #4
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My strong advice is to try Safale-04 and 2 cups of honey per gallon.

Oddly enough I fermented it out to be very dry but there seems to be a sweet aftertaste to it.

Making a powerful apple wine like this will really help you to understand how aging changes a wine/cider over time. The higher ABV the more it should be aged generally.

Try making a nice 10-12% apple wine and give it a shot The above recipe turned out to be somewhere in the 10-11% range IIRC

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Old 05-20-2010, 02:05 AM   #5
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Just to follow up on this, I had used Motts Natural Apple Juice rather than the regular juice. I tried this on a half gallon batch, where I removed 4oz and kept it frozen while I fermented the rest with 1338 as I said above. After three weeks fermentation looked complete and I bottled it by adding the 4oz (thawed) back as priming sugar.

It came out a light yellowish-gold color, sort of like lemonade. Definitely not clear, which I assume is a result of using the natural juice (which is opaque in the bottle) over regular juice. No gravity readings, but it definitely was not below 1.000 (because of how murky it is).

I'm carefully keeping an eye on it each day to make sure I don't have bottle bombs. They have been bottle conditioning for three full days now with no explosions. After four I will place them in a fridge and try them over the weekend to see how much they carbed. By the second day it appears the yeast started to drop out so I'm hoping I won't come home from work tomorrow to a sticky mess.

I tried a glass the night I bottled without any carbination. It tasted a lot like apple juice, with a like cider-tartness. Having used beer yeast, I didn't notice any off flavors or beer-ish flavor. It's actually fairly sweet.

Next time I'll try mixing half natural juice half regular juice to add more sugar and try to get higher alcohol/more tartness.

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Old 05-20-2010, 02:54 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tantalar View Post
My strong advice is to try Safale-04 and 2 cups of honey per gallon.
Why Safale-04 and not Safale-05? I've been playing with these recipes and haven't quite hit what I'm looking for.
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Old 05-20-2010, 03:34 PM   #7
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Pectic Enzyme would have made it clear up if you added it at the beginning.

I'm not sure that haze really affects SG readings. However, it wouldn't have been less than 1.000 due to you adding back juice at the end. That is also why it might be sweet.

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